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CareerShala - Building an ecosystem of support to enable right career decisions for Government school students

Campaign by Alohomora Education Foundation

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Story

Career related decision making is a complex process which includes access to quality and continuous education, opportunities for reflection, exposure to mentors, stakeholder support etc., hence a structured ecosystem to provide career support becomes an established need for students from underserved communities to thrive.

Most students, especially those from low-income backgrounds, are aware of only 5-7 conventional careers such as Engineer, Chartered Accountant, IAS etc. – most of which are inaccessible to them or involve more financial support than what their families can provide. Hence, with minimum/no support, they end up making decisions based on their limited exposure resulting in jobs that do not allow them to thrive which further leads to a feeling of inadequacy and massive loss of potential.

Alohomora seeks to change this narrative by building large-scale structured career support programs to enable all the stakeholders in the ecosystem with the necessary resources and support to take the idea and tools for career exploration to students and empower them to make career choices aligned with their interests and strengths.

Our premise is that enabling students to explore and experience careers themselves is the only way to enable career decision making at scale. With this vision, we set up a district-wide career support program, Pratibha Manthan which supports 13K+ students across 176 schools in Jhajjar, through a contextualized career exploration process based on our 5-step CareerShala framework, leverages existing student-teacher connections, and brings together the school administration, facilitators, and role models from the local community to inspire students towards diverse career pathways.

Through structured conversations on career aspirations, the students gather information, experience, and confidence to make meaningful career choices for themselves. Our modules include a collection of classroom activities, reflection questions, home-based micro projects and local role model interactions which equip the students with the processes and tools to be on a self-exploration journey about their interests and strengths. We also enable schools to organize showcase events where students exhibit their learnings and reflection. At the center of the program, lies our unique component of incorporating the needs from the field and contextualizing the program accordingly.

In the upcoming year, we aim to set up similar district-wide career support programs in 2-3 new districts supporting ~50K students.

Pratibha Manthan, our district-wide career support program, capacitated 240+ teachers who conduct weekly career support classes across 115 schools (65% across Jhajjar) resulting in 400+ career sessions, 20+ role model interactions, 80+ student exhibitions in 2.5 months. Furthermore, the program’s embedment in the academic curriculum has resulted in 57.1% students feeling confident in deciding the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of choosing careers, with an increase to 30% students aspiring towards non-traditional courses like diplomas and ITI, and learning skills like fashion and coding.

Pratibha Manthan is nominated in the Good Governance Project from Jhajjar, and we aim to scale this impact by building an ecosystem of support which encourages exploration and reflection amongst ~50K students across 2-3 new districts.

Amongst one of our students is Deepa whose priority has been ‘to explore and experience it all’; through Alohomora she discovered her diverse interests ranging from Community Lead Fellowship to exploring the IT Enthusiast in herself at NavGurukul. As we see Deepa enjoying and earning well in her interest-aligned job at Royal Bank of Scotland, we aim to empower more young adults like her with the exposure and support to identify their aspirations and build a roadmap towards achieving it.

Organisers
Alohomora Education Foundation

Alohomora Education Foundation

Beneficiary Charity

Ritica Maheshwari

Ritica Maheshwari

Organiser

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